What’s Covered in this Review?In this review of the One America Freedom Builder 9 Fixed Indexed Annuity, we will discuss the following information:
- Product type
- Current rates
- Realistic long-term return expectations
- How it is used
- How it is most poorly used
Annuities can be complex. That’s where having an Annuity Investigator who loves math comes in. We make the complex, simple.If you’ve been seriously thinking about purchasing an annuity because you want to assure yourself of long-lasting retirement income in the future, then the Retirement Chapters fixed indexed annuity from Delaware Life could be a good financial vehicle for you. That’s because this annuity offers you an index-linked opportunity for growth – which could, in essence, be higher than that of a regular fixed annuity – yet without danger to your principal (regardless of what occurs in the market), unlike a variable annuity. However, before you dive in and sign on the dotted line to purchase this “best of all worlds” product, it is a good idea to get a thorough understanding of how this annuity works, and whether it does or does not fit in with the other short- and long-term financial goals that you have. Over the past several years, annuities have become increasingly popular as a way to provide a guaranteed lifetime income stream in retirement. Because of this, the number of financial and insurance advisors who offer these products has also expanded exponentially. But this may not actually be a good thing. This is because, while most financial professionals will work hard in order to do what is right for their clients, they may not necessarily be offering you the very best information regarding a fixed indexed annuity that you’re considering purchasing. Also, due in large part to annuities’ growing popularity, insurance companies have been expanding their product lines to include “hybrid” and other types of products that can come with a lot of bells and whistles. This can make these already complex products even more confusing – even for well-educated individuals. With all of the “small print” that can be associated with annuities, it is essential that you know exactly what you are getting into because in many cases, the purchase of an annuity may require you to deposit a large chunk of your retirement savings. And, if you do find out too late that the annuity you purchase is not the right one for you, then it could be quite costly for you to get out of it. This is where the Annuity Gator can help.
Annuity and Retirement Income Planning Information that You Can TrustIf this is your first visit to our website, then please allow us to officially welcome you here. At AnnuityGator.com, we are a team of annuity professionals who are focused on providing you with the most comprehensive – and non-biased – annuity reviews. We have been doing this for quite some time now – and much longer than any of our competitors. Because of this, we have become a highly trusted source of annuity information. If you have been searching for more information about annuities online, then it is very likely that you have run across a lot of conflicting details about these products. This is not at all surprising, as there is a great deal of confusion about annuities and how they work. It may also be that you have attended a seminar about annuities where, in return for a “free” lunch or dinner, the presenter provided you with details about the Delaware Life Retirement Chapters fixed indexed annuity or some other, similar annuity. It could even, in fact, been your attendance at this seminar that has ultimately led you here to our site in search of additional information. Where there are a lot of websites out here on the Internet that focuses on marketing their annuities, some of these may try to “lure” you into providing them with your contact information by making bold claims such as:
- Highest annuity payouts
- Low Fees
- Guaranteed income for life
- Top-rated Annuity Companies
- Get an Annuity Quote Now!
Delaware Life Retirement Chapters Fixed Indexed Annuity at a Glance
|Product Name||Retirement Chapters|
|Type of Product||Fixed Indexed Annuity|
|S&P Rating||BBB+ (Stable)|
|Phone Number||(877) 253-2323|
Opening Thoughts on the Delaware Life Retirement Chapters Fixed Indexed AnnuityDelaware Life manages roughly 320,000 in-force annuity and life insurance policies, which represents approximately $36.4 billion in assets under management. Founded in 2013, the company is a subsidiary of Group One Thousand One. Delaware Life Insurance Company, and Delaware Life Insurance Company of New York are considered to be strong and stable financially. Both are rated with a BBB+ (Stable) from S&P, and an A- (Excellent) from A.M. Best Company. Based in large part on the continued volatility of the market over the past several years, the demand for fixed indexed annuities has expanded substantially – particularly as a way for people to obtain higher potential index-linked returns, while at the same time maintaining the safety of principal. However, even though this might initially sound like the best of both worlds, when something sounds too good to be true, it typically is. So, it is important that you take some precautions before you move forward with the purchase of this, or any, annuity, as you do not want to find out the negatives when it’s too late to get out without a hefty penalty.
Before we get into the gritty details, here are some legal disclosures…This is an independent product review, not a recommendation to buy or sell an annuity. Delaware Life has not endorsed this review in any way, nor do we receive any type of compensation for providing this review. This review is meant to be an independent review at the request of readers so that they may see our perspective when breaking down the positives and negatives of this particular annuity. Prior to purchasing any type of investment or insurance product, it is important that you do your own due diligence and that you consult a properly licensed professional if you should have any specific questions that relate to your individual circumstances. All names, marks, and materials that were used for this review are the property of their respective owners. For more information on how to compare annuities in order to determine which one may be right for you, click here to obtain our free annuity report.
How Delaware Life Describes the Retirement Chapters Fixed Indexed AnnuityDelaware Life describes the Retirement Chapters fixed indexed annuity as a financial vehicle that is designed for all of the major “chapters” of your life, such as growing and protecting your savings during your working years, and providing a reliable stream of income after you’ve transitioned into retirement. During Chapter 1 – saving for your retirement – this annuity offers upside potential, based on the performance of an underlying market index (or more than one index, if you choose). During this same time period, though, if the index(es) being tracked by the annuity have negative performance, your principal will still remain safe and your account will not drop in value. As with other annuities, the funds that are in your account are allowed to grow on a tax-deferred basis, meaning that tax on the gain will be postponed until the time of withdrawal. This, in turn, can allow the money in your annuity to grow and compound exponentially. There are several market indexes to choose from here, including the: – S&P 500 Index – CROCI Sectors III USD 5.5% Volatility Control Index – Momentum Asset Allocator 5.5% Volatility Control Index In addition to the index crediting options, there is also the option to put some or all of your funds in a fixed account. And, Delaware Life will “boost” your retirement savings by adding a 5% bonus to all of the premium that you pay in during the first year of the contract. As an added feature, if you pass away before you start to receive your annuity income payments, the Retirement Chapters annuity guarantees that your named beneficiary will receive the account value – which will include all of the interest you had earned – without having to go through probate. During Chapter 2 – retirement income – you have the option to choose a guaranteed stream of income for as long as you need it, regardless of how long that may be. This can alleviate the worry about running out of money at a time when you may need it the most. In order to ensure that you (and your spouse, if applicable) are guaranteed to have income for life, even if your annuity account value should drop to zero, there is an added rider that you may choose to include on the annuity. This STAIR Withdrawal Benefit rider will grow the annuity’s benefit base (the amount on which your lifetime income is calculated) by a guaranteed 4% per year. On each of the annuity’s contract anniversaries, this benefit will add (or “stack”) the increase in your benefit base on top of any interest rates that are applied to your account value. Plus, any additional premiums that you make, as well as any first-year premium bonus, will increase both your account value and your benefit base. There are a few other bells and whistles that are included with the Retirement Chapters annuity. To take a look at the full product brochure, go HERE.
How an Insurance or Financial Advisor Might “Pitch” this AnnuityBeing that the Delaware Life Retirement Chapters annuity is a fixed indexed annuity, it is probable that an insurance or financial advisor would key in on several benefits – starting with the opportunity to earn index-linked growth on your money. This could provide you with a higher return than if you were in a regular fixed annuity – yet without the worry about the loss of principal if the market index performs negatively at any given time. That is because, even if the underlying index (or indexes) that the annuity is tracking has a negative performance, that account will simply be credited with a 0% for that period. So, no gain – but also no loss. But, before you move forward and add this financial vehicle to your overall financial plan, there are a few items that you really should consider. For example first, the return that you earn on your account could be “capped” at a certain amount – even if the underlying index has a stellar performance in a given year. In this case, if the cap is 5%, and the underlying index returns 10% in a given year, your return would only be 5%, as the cap can essentially limit your growth. In addition, as with most other annuities, if you wish to withdraw more than just 10% of the contract value within the first several years of purchasing it, you will be hit with a surrender charge. In this case, the surrender charges go on for 10 years. (If you are under the age of 59 1/2 and you withdraw such funds, you can also incur an additional 10% IRS “early withdrawal” penalty.) With all of that in mind, be sure that you understand that an annuity is a long-term
What About the Fees on this Annuity?Over the years, annuities have received a bad rap, of sorts, when it comes to the fees they charge. The Retirement Chapters annuity is no different. In this case, you will find that there is an additional annual fee for the STAIR income rider – and because of this, less of your hard earned dollars that are going into the annuity is actually going towards your future. Plus, it also needs to be added that you could lose a percentage of your first-year bonus if you make withdrawals that are more than your vested amount during this time.
The Annuity Gator’s End Take on the Delaware Life Fixed Index AnnuityWhere it works best: This annuity will typically work the best for those who are seeking:
- Safety of principal
- The opportunity for additional, index-linked growth
- Guaranteed lifetime income in retirement
- For people who need access to all of their money (or at least more than 10% of the contract value) right away – or even during the first ten years of owning this annuity
- For people who are not looking for guaranteed lifetime income
In SummaryThere is a long list of factors that should ideally be considered if you are trying to determine which – if any – annuity is right for you. In all cases, an annuity should be considered a long-term financial vehicle, and the money that is used for purchasing this product should not be an amount that you may need for another issue soon after making your annuity purchase. When thinking about the purchase of a fixed indexed annuity, though, you can be secure in knowing that your money is safe from market ups and downs and that you can have an ongoing lifetime income in retirement. With regard to the Delaware Life Retirement Chapters annuity, there is no doubt some very nice features. But, quite frankly, this annuity could also fall somewhat short. With that in mind, there may be some better alternatives out there for you. If you do have any questions regarding how this annuity may fit in with your specific savings and future income goals, then please feel free to reach out to us here through our secure contact form.
Do You Have Any Other Questions Regarding the Retirement Chapters Fixed Indexed Annuity from Delaware Life? Did You Notice Any Mistakes on this Review?We realize that this annuity review may have been a bit long. So we truly appreciate you sticking with us through here to the end. But honestly, we would much rather that you have “too much” information on this product than to not have enough. So, if you found this annuity review to be beneficial, please feel free to pass it on and to share it with other people who could also find value in it. (And, if you found it to be confusing, please also let us know that, too.) In addition, we are aware that information regarding annuities can, and often does, change. So, if you happened to notice anything in this review that should be updated or revised, let us know and we will be happy to make the necessary edits. Any other annuities that you would like to learn more about? If so, just give us a shout and let us know. Our team of annuity “geeks” will hop on the case and get the details out there as soon as possible! Best, The Annuity Gator P.S. If you would like to read more of our Delaware annuity reviews here’s some links to check out:
- Delaware Life Retirement Stages 7 Fixed Index Annuity
- Delaware Life Pinnacle MYG Annuity 3-Year (MYGA)
- Delaware Life Pinnacle MYGA 10-Year Annuity
- Delaware Life Fixed Indexed Annuity with GLWB